Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden 22 front as EA features two cover athletes for first time in 12 years

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden 22 front as EA features two cover athletes for first time in 12 years
Video tom brady madden cover

The last time the NFL played a game, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes were on opposite sidelines in Super Bowl LV. Now, before the 2021 season kicks off, those quarterbacks will be together again – on the latest Madden cover.

Mahomes and Brady are sharing the cover of Madden 22, the EA Sports video game that has become part of the NFL culture. It’s the first time two players are on the game’s front in more than a decade.

“Whenever you first get on the cover, that’s a special moment,” Mahomes told ESPN. “So to be on it again, twice, with an all-time great like Tom Brady, it’s a special moment that I’m glad that I’m able to do so soon after I had done it the first time.

“I’ll be able to have it for the rest of my life and be able to show my kids and my kids’ kids that I was on it two times.”

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden 22 front as EA features two cover athletes for first time in 12 years

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Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share Madden 22 front as EA features two cover athletes for first time in 12 years

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Mahomes said he asked Brady various questions, and Brady, entering his 22nd season, offered a couple of tips about how he worked and has continued to play as long as he has. They talked about how to build winning teams consistently and the preparation it takes to be able to perform at the levels they have.

It was football talk between two of the best to ever do it, with Brady seeing it as a way to pay it forward.

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“For me at my age, I’ve seen a lot of great players kind of come and go, and he’s definitely not one that is the type to come and go,” Brady said. “I think he’s going to be around for a while, and I think it’s about how can people maximize their opportunity for what they want in their life and any way that I can give them some tips that they might be able to use.”

It’s been a long way for Brady – both in the real NFL and in Madden. When he first came into the league as Pick No. 199 in 2000, he had ratings of 57 and 51 in his first two appearances in the game. His name wasn’t even in Madden 01 – instead going by QB No. 12 as the New England Patriots’ fourth-string quarterback.

After wondering “what’s up with that,” more than two decades later, Brady said the progression to cover athlete is “unbelievable.”

“We all started somewhere. At least I was on the game, that’s how I thought about it,” Brady said. “But you’re right, I came into the league with very little fanfare, so it’s not a big surprise that I was, a lot of the rankings even then I was still pretty low, but I’ve creeped my way up over the years.”

Brady’s days as a low-ranked player were short-lived. Since Madden NFL 2004, he has been at least a 90 overall every year, including four editions of the game where he was a 99 overall.

Mahomes, meanwhile, has been the highest-rated quarterback the past two years, with a 97 rating for his cover appearance in Madden 20 and a 99 last year. Opening ratings for this year’s Madden are expected later this summer before the game’s launch on Aug. 20.

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When Mahomes was on the cover for the first time, he put some copies of the game in storage and has an enlarged version of it framed in his basement – “something I can always talk about.”

“Luckily enough, after having a few good years and being on some good football teams, I was able to be on the cover for a second time now,” Mahomes said. “It’s really an honor and something I’ll be able to have forever.”